Meatless Monday is a constantly growing movement. Most people understand that it's a good thing, but it's hard to say exactly why. Eliminating meat at least once a week has a huge impact on not only the environment, but your own personal health as well.

Why Meatless Monday?

Meatless Monday is by no means new. During both world wars, it was enacted to help on the war front. Then, in 2003 it was brought back to life by Sid Lerner. Lerner, a former advertiser (a literal Mad Man back in the day) turned health advocate worked with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for a Livable Future to reintroduce the health conscious campaign on a global scale. However, today, the average American eats 75 pounds more of meat than past generations. Cutting it out even one day a week can make a big difference.

According to Denis Hayes, co-author of "Cowed" who spoke with National Geographic on the issue said that, "The amount of carbon dioxide that is given off per pound of beef is, in fact, greater [than burning a gallon of gasoline]." So you can imagine the impact it would have if Americans, or even the whole world did their part. 

The rules for Meatless Monday are simple: Don't eat meat on Mondays. The benefits seem straightforward, too — it's good for you and the environment. Let's break it down so you can see exactly why this is true.

How Meatless Monday Benefits You

There are boatloads of health benefits for cutting out meat at least once a week. 

1. Your Diet Becomes More Nutritious

Instead of just avoiding meat entirely, it's important to substitute your protein. Getting your protein from plants adds a whole bunch of great nutrients into your body, like fiber and iron. It also reduces the amount of saturated fats in your body.

2. Save Money

Meat is generally more expensive than its Meatless Monday replacements, like veggies, grains, and legumes (beans and lentils). By switching to these options once a week, you'll easily save some money while being healthier.

3. Reduce Chances of Scary Health Issues

While red meat isn't the best thing for your heart anyway, replacing meat with beans, veggies, and grains lowers your risk for a myriad of health issues, like cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke.

How it Benefits the Environment

It's not always all about you, and that's OK. With Meatless Mondays, you're helping the environment, too.

1. Less Greenhouse Gases

Livestock and meat production produce so much more greenhouse gas than plants, specifically vegetables. Greenhouse gases tend to stop heat from leaving the atmosphere and send it back to Earth. This is why global warming is a thing.

2. No Wasting Water

Livestock need a lot more water than plants do. Eating plants also helps reduce the water consumption of people. We need water, and this is an easy way to conserve it.

3. Limit Fuel Necessities

Just like water, producing meat takes up a lot more fossil fuels than grains. Feeding a huge portion of grain to livestock also is a bit counterproductive, since we could be eating the grain ourselves without wasting resources to produce it.

In closing, there's a ridiculous amount of benefits to Meatless Monday. There are so many reasons to participate, whether you want to help the environment or are considering your health. If you're not participating today, hop on the train next Monday.